A graduate of the Brentford youth team, Poole made his professional debut during the 1973/74 Division Four campaign. He departed the club in the summer of 1974, after making just two appearances. Cotton moved on to Division Two side Orient, failing to appear in the league during the 1974/75 season, but making three league appearances during the 1975/76 season.
He was kept out of the side by Laurie Cunningham.
Cotton dropped back down to Division Four to join Aldershot in the summer of 1976, making five appearances for the club After his departure in 1978, Cotton joined Southern League Premier Division side Hillingdon Borough.
Cotton moved to Australia in 1979 and played for National Soccer League sides Street George, Sydney Olympic, Wollongong City (two spells) and Penrith City. At international level, Cotton represented the England Youth side.
Cotton lives in Australia and has held senior corporate positions with Mercedes-Benz, Audi Australia and in real estate.